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COVID just marked its birthday

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

It is no cause for celebrating, but I know that people in Japan will be remembering this day as one of the most disastrous that had ever occurred in their country. That is because it marks two events that are not likely to be included in their history, because of what happened in Hiroshima in 2011. It must have been devastating, but a lot of Filipinos I know still believe that it was some sort of “karma” for what the Japanese Imperial Army under their ruler Hirohito had done to several countries in Asia, among them the Philippines.

***

I think I was only seven years old when the Japanese military attacked the Philippines by dropping bombs on some of our cities, ruining infrastructures and killing  hundreds, maybe even thousands of our citizens. For about three years, until the American military came to liberate us, the Japanese kempetai was considered a terror to whatever town or barrio they invaded. I remember how we evacuated to the fishponds of my grandparents that was located between Pontevedra and Hinigaran, which, fortunately, was never discovered by the invaders.

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Now Japan seems to be minding its own business and it is China that is suspected of having  the same dreams that it  used to have. And what should worry other countries is the fact that China and Russia are said to be getting friendlier these days and what plans those giants are cooking up do not seem beneficial to other Asian countries. Well we have to be alert and anticipate, if possible, how we can avoid being invaded or occupied by any country and lose the independence our forefathers fought for. For a while, I thought the trip the Chinese astronauts made to the moon would solve their problem of overpopulation, but maybe they think it is more convenient to stay in the Philippines where many of their kababayans have already  settled!

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I hear that United States and Chinese diplomats are set to meet for some diplomatic subject and the world should be hoping and praying that those big ones will all become friendly and work for world peace, rather than for wealth and conquest. Have the experience of conflicts in the past  not served  them all lessons on the advantages of peace? However greed could also be the motivation of some, so I hope that they do not look our way  because we are only a poor country, even if our people are rich in talent and faith.

***

But why am I worrying about that? Isn’t it President Duterte’s business to do so? But they say he is not interested in reelection, and there is also news that his daughter Sara is being pushed to succeed him. We are not a monarchy, but it seems we have this inclination for succession, don’t we? Cory Aquino became president after her husband, the popular Ninoy was gunned down at the airport as soon as he arrived in the airport, because he was suspected of having intentions of running for president. But the plotters and planners of the treachery never imagined that the people would vote for the widow he left behind, Cory, who, despite her lack of political experience, did better than some of her predecessors.

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Meanwhile the World Health Organization, or WHO, has reminded us of  the anniversary of this pandemic that started one year ago after some curious people opened something like Pandora’s box in Wuhan China. From there, the COVID virus quickly spread worldwide with China itself mum about how much it has been affected. I wonder if anybody has solved how the virus was able to spread so widely with so many variants since then. But we should thank God for inspiring our medical people and our scientists to discover  a vaccine that,  hopefully, will eradicate it as previous vaccines had put an end to other epidemics.

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It was quite shocking to hear that the officer of the Commission on Election, or COMELEC, has shut down because of COVID infections among its employees. I thought they would not be so busy since election is still a long time away yet, but obviously the virus is so mischievous  it wants to disrupt activities in as many offices as it can. This will be a problem for those who still have to register so let us hope that this pandemic will have been conquered  before then.

***

The people of Metro Manila are reportedly asking for a uniform curfew that will not confuse  them like the present one that has several schedules. Indeed, since they are composed of many districts, one can be charged for violating curfew in, say, Makati, that does not have the same one as San Juan. Shouldn’t their mayors get together  and agree  on the same schedules? Luckily for us in our country, we have the same curfew as in all  barangays, so no excuses can be accepted.*

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